Michael Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti, Matt Apuzzo in the NYT
Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

Epic quote contender

Mr. Manafort, who has not been charged with any crimes, dismissed the officials’ accounts in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “This is absurd,” he said. “I have no idea what this is referring to. I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.”

He added, “It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.'"

Further Reading
Samuel Osborne - The Independent
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Donald Trump encouraged him to improve relations with Vladimir Putin

Andrew Kramer, Mike McIntire, Barry Meier in the NYT
Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief

Kenneth Vogel in Politico
Manafort’s man in Kiev

Natasha Bertrand in Business Insider
The timeline of Trump's ties with Russia lines up with allegations of conspiracy and misconduct

Re-up
Greg Palast in Rolling Stone
The GOP's Stealth War Against Voters

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fischbobber's picture

Holding our representatives accountable

It will be vital to hold our congressman accountable for keeping Trump in check, because there's a cold wind a blowing and a purge is occurring throughout the executive branch. BTW, great job on the research.

B Harmon's picture

Sanctions lifted?

I doubt 45 will be trying to push for lifting the Russian sanctions anytime soon. However, he is such a fool he may still try, making it harder on the Congressional GOP to ignore this and refusing to have an investigation or hearings. The house of cards is starting to tumble.

Average Guy's picture

A year?

So, US intelligence and law enforcement had this information before Comey threw a stick into Clinton's campaign spokes?

How is it our intelligence can claim Russia usurped our process when it was they who did nothing to Trump while derailing Clinton?

Either they were playing rope-a-dope with Russia to gain intel and used a autocrat to do it, or there's more to the Clinton story than has been revealed.

Or, it's something even more insane.

fischbobber's picture

Sorta

Comey was and is between a rock and a hard place. Most of the intel he's dealing with is either/or classified or subject to ethics regulations. It appears Trump and his folks were winning battles with these regulations all through the election, but I'm not convinced Comey was playing politics. My guess would be that a litmus test of whether or not he's dealing with his job in a competent and ethical manner is whether or not Trump starts threatening him in the relatively near future. So I would probably be in the likely "Something more insane" camp.

As to the Clinton story, people tend to forget that all we know of all the criticism Clinton has received is what has been declassified and released. If you step back and look at the big picture, like the rest of the world is doing, the natural reaction is, "That's it?" There's nothing there. And as to N.Korea (missile launch and test), Russia (missile test and likely launch) and China (Backing down Trump on trade with his one China announcement after initially recognizing Taiwan), I can guarantee you that none of those countries would have pulled that shit on Clinton. She's smart and tough. Trump's a dumb pussy. And that's where America's problems will and have started.

Average Guy's picture

The alphabet agencies are

The alphabet agencies are shaping the public image. Clinton with the Comey letter (originating from super freak Weiner's computer) and Trump with the dossier and leaks. (The dossier they now believe to be true in "part". Wonder which?)

To what end, who knows? Although the why has me more curious. Is it because it they're flexing muscle in response to discredit or something worse?

fischbobber's picture

At this point,

It's anyone's guess. Forums such as this actually become increasing important to our way of governing as this is a primary means of sharing and analyzing information. The idea of intelligent members of a community getting together to examine current event is exactly the opposite of what this administration needs to survive.

Right now I'm trying to figure out exactly what "deployed" actually means in the current missile crisis. It's an extremely broad word and considering the information was reputedly leaked, could mean anything. Or it might simply have been a word chosen to help mask the identity of the source.

To your point about the alphabet agencies. Deep Throat was the number 2 man at the FBI. Most of the career folks have a much stronger loyalty to the United States than they do any particular leader.

Ethics has become a blurry line, and I see weird times a-coming.

Mike Knapp's picture

"And it’s just not good for the country.”

Shawn Harris & Carol Lee in Wall Street Journal
Spies Keep Intelligence From Donald Trump on Leak Concerns

The officials’ decision to keep information from Mr. Trump underscores the deep mistrust that has developed between the intelligence community and the president over his team’s contacts with the Russian government, as well as the enmity he has shown toward U.S. spy agencies. On Wednesday, Mr. Trump accused the agencies of leaking information to undermine him.

In some of these cases of withheld information, officials have decided not to show Mr. Trump the sources and methods that the intelligence agencies use to collect information, the current and former officials said. Those sources and methods could include, for instance, the means that an agency uses to spy on a foreign government.

jbr's picture

GOP Senator Confronted About Trump Election at Town Hall

jbr's picture

Raucous Town Halls Make ‘Tea Party Look Like Pre-School’

"I'm telling you folks, those of you who are younger, this hasn't happened since 1970," Moore told Hayes. "You do have to go back ... you'd have to go back before Kent State, before to where you saw crowds like this. And even then, you didn't see middle class. You didn't see grandmas."

Michael Moore: Raucous Town Halls Make ‘Tea Party Look Like Pre-School’

Mike Knapp's picture

Manafort's recruiter... err handler... err friend?

Was in contact during 2016 election every couple months...
Christopher Miller - Radio Free Europe
Who Is Paul Manafort's Man In Kyiv? An Interview With Konstantin Kilimnik

KYIV -- An elusive Ukrainian associate of Paul Manafort says he briefed the former campaign chairman for U.S. President Donald Trump on Ukraine during last year's presidential race.

The comments by Konstantin Kilimnik, in an exclusive interview with RFE/RL, add to the swirl of intrigue surrounding Manafort, a shadowy political operative who helped bring Viktor Yanukovych to the Ukrainian presidency and who is now under FBI investigation for allegedly communicating with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 U.S. campaign.

Kilimnik, a dual Russian-Ukrainian citizen, himself studied at the Russian military's main university for languages, which has led to speculation that he has ties to Russian military intelligence.

In the February 22 interview, Kilimnik denied any ties to Russian intelligence. But he said that he and Manafort spoke during the 2016 election "every couple months."

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